The Ian Mitchell Collection

A collection of digital photographs of Glasgow from 1990 to the present.

About Ian Mitchell

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Ian Mitchell

Originally hailing from Aberdeen, Ian Mitchell came to Glasgow when he was 25 and taught history for almost quarter of a century in the former Clydebank College. He took voluntary redundancy at 50 and started in a new direction as a full-time author. He wrote several books on mountaineering and mountaineering history, which earned him the Boardman Tasker Mountain Literature Prize and the Outdoor Writers' Guild Excellence Award.

As the city changed, developed and people began to become more interested in its history, Ian undertook a series of lectures at Glasgow University Adult Education Department and organised walks in what he terms the "cappuccino free zones" of the city. From this experience, and from other community-based work such as his involvement in the restoration of the Maryhill Burgh Halls, came a series of historical books on these "abrasive", but historically and architecturally splendid and underrated zones. These included Walking Through Glasgow's Industrial Past (2015).

He hopes that this collection of images will help to get people out and exploring a city which internationally has regained the high status it formerly had as "Second City", but which to Ian’s mind is still underrated by too many of its own inhabitants.

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Steam Hammer, Parkhead

The materials for the captions of these images came from various sources, including personal research. However it would be appropriate to add that much of the information came from two extremely valuable sources, viz.,

The Industrial Archaeology of Glasgow by John Hume (1974),


The Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow by Williamson, Riches and Higgs (1990)

The publication dates of these volumes, however, shows the compelling need for the appearance of works of a similar nature, updated to cover the 30 and almost 50 years since their respective appearances, to serve as reference sources for the enormous changes in the physical landscape of Glasgow that have taken place in that time.

About the collection

The original digital files are stored in Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, and copies are kept in The Mitchell Library, Special Collections. The collection will be increased by further donations.

Finding aid

The collection has been made available via Glasgow Museums Collections Navigator.

Further reading

Ian R. Mitchell. (2015) The second man on the rope: mountain days with Davie. Edinburgh: Luath Press Limited. 2015.

Baxter, Colin and Mitchell, Ian R. (1998). Glasgow. Lomond.

Mitchell, Ian R. (2012). Scotland's mountains before the mountaineers. Luath Press.

Mitchell, Ian R. (2014). Walking through Glasgow's industrial past. Edinburgh: Luath Press.

Mitchell, Ian R. (2010). Clydeside: red, orange and green. Edinburgh: Luath.

Brown, Dave and Mitchell, Ian R. (1991). A view from the ridge. [Glasgow]: Ernest Press.

Mitchell, Ian R. (2005). This City now: Glasgow and its working class past. Luath.

Mitchell, Ian R. (2013). A Glasgow mosaic: explorations around the city's cultural icons. Edinburgh: Luath Press.

Image gallery

A selection of images from the the Ian Mitchell Collection. View the entire collection on the Glasgow Museums Collections Navigator.


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Maryhill, Murano Street


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Red Road Flats awaiting demolition


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Woodside, St Georges in the Fields and Multis


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Townhead Spirit of St Kentigern


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Dalmarnock, 2003

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